MyPyramid changes to MyPlate Hopes for a healthier diet for Americans

By Abby McDermott

By Abby  McDermott

Hawkeye  staff

On June 2, a new, sleek, and useful plate icon replaced the food pyramid that has been in place since 1992. The pyramid had been criticized for being too confusing and unhelpful.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hopes that the new icon, called MyPlate, will urge Americans to focus on eating healthier as more than one-third of children and two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese.

MyPlate demonstrates that half of the plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables while the other half focuses on grains and protein. Dairy, shown as a cup of perhaps milk, is placed off to the side. The goal of the new design is to “simplify nutritional information”, as Michelle Obama, First Lady, states. “When it comes to eating, what’s more useful than a plate? It’s a quick simple way for all of us to be mindful of the foods we’re eating.”

MyPlate will be much easier to apply to everyday life, especially for teenagers. Michelle Obama’s hope is for a healthier America and the MyPlate icon just might accomplish that.

Healthy eating has long been promoted. Elementary schools taught the pyramid symbol to kids to help them understand the importance of eating a healthy diet.

The MyPlate figure will help making better food choices effortless. The simpler design makes it easy for kids and adults to understand and apply.

The idea is to simply look down at the plate and see if the proportions match the design. Eating well is not just about weight loss, but it also improves the immune system and energy levels.

Making the right choices about meals has been shown to be much more effective than hitting the gym to slim down, “Men and women [who] do an hour of cardio per day for an entire year only lose 4-6 pounds on average” Obesity journal states.

Pair daily workouts with making healthy choices and watch the pounds slip away. The average American drinks about one and a half cans of soda each day.

By swapping those drinks for water, the average person could lose twenty-one pounds in a year. The government created a helpful website to remind Americans that healthy choices do not always have to be difficult.

The new MyPlate website, choosemyplate.gov, is designed to help Americans fill their plates with the right kinds of foods. The site also includes new nutritional guidelines from the government.

Key points from the guidelines are to consume whole grains, avoid oversized portions, drink water instead of sugary drinks, and to use low-fat milk. While the pyramid design seemed bulky with information about servings and types of food, MyPlate saves the extra wording for the web site by including information about food groups, dietary guidelines, and recipes online.

This wealth of information is accessible and easy to use; the hope is that teenagers, as well as adults, will take advantage of this useful tool. Maybe a healthier

America is around the corner and the increasing rates of obesity will die down. With advances like MyPlate, maybe the government will accomplish just that.